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Friday, September 13, 2002
Another Beautiful Afternoon Wasted Reading Rumor Sites
James Bardi, a coaster enthusiast in suburban Washington, D.C., wasted another beautiful afternoon constantly surfing through the dozen coaster rumor sites he checks obsessively. "Someone's gotta have new pictures of the vertical construction at Cedar Point!" Bardi muttered on his seventeenth visit to CoasterBuzz. During the four hours he spent in his windowless office, the average temperature outside was 79, the sun was shining, and a light breeze was blowing.
Bardi has previously ruined Thanksgiving with his family when looking for news about Six Flags Magic Mountain's progress on "X," and caused the breakup of a promising relationship when he interrupted a Valentine's Day dinner to check his e-mail four times on his Palm VII, hoping for an update on a rumored new coaster at Paramount's Kings Dominion, Bardi's home park.
Six Flags Working On Prototype "Parking Lot" Themed Coaster
More and more, amusement parks are considering the surroundings of roller coasters as critical to their long-term success. From Lake Compounce's Boulder Dash to the proposed Ravine Flyer II at Waldameer Park to the Beast at Paramount's Kings Island, the focus thus far has been putting coasters in close proximity to nature.
ARN&R can exclusively report that Six Flags is working on a new ride concept, though it might more accurately be described a reworking of an old concept: dropping a coaster into a corner of a parking lot, throwing a haphazard chainlink fence up around it, and making no effort to landscape or make the area look like anything other than a converted parking lot. But now, the generic name for this concept will be "Urban Chic: The Coaster."
Initial reports indicate that this project explains the park chain's recent announcement that Shockwave at Six Flags Great America would be shut down. Rather than being removed, Shockwave will in fact be renamed "Abandoned Lot: The Concrete Coaster" for the 2003 season. To add to the ambience, Six Flags intends to place abandoned cars, a check-cashing facility, and a methadone clinic in the parking lot below the coaster, and -- in yet another innovation -- add the overpowering odor of urine to the entire queue line.
Thursday, September 12, 2002
Members of Ratt Don't Understand Why Disney Hasn't Themed a Coaster After Them
After the success of Aerosmith's "Rock 'n' Roller Coaster" at Disneyworld, the members of '80s metal band Ratt are furiously lobbying for a themed coaster of their own. Jizzy Pearl, lead singer, declared that "Round and Round" is just as important to the development of rock music as Aerosmith's dozens of major hits. "We make music good. Coaster fun up and down. Where beer?" said Pearl when reached for comment.
Ratt, which has recently been touring venues with capacities upwards of fifteen people, has released four albums, news that surprised every member of the ARN&R staff. To date, no interest has been forthcoming from Disney. However, ARN&R has learned that The Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando inquired about the possibility of hiring Ratt to represent the wages of sin in a dark ride under development.
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Area Student, Hopeful to Become Coaster Engineer, Fails to Make Correct Change
Jon Yurtz, an area high school junior with aspirations of becoming an engineer designing roller coasters, failed to make correct change for a customer for the fifth time in a week, reported his supervisor at the 7-11. "For some reason, Jon just can't remember that when he's given a dollar for the paper -- which costs thirty-five cents -- the correct change is sixty-five cents. He just keeps giving back three quarters."
In the past several weeks, Yurtz has also built a deck for his grandmother that collapsed within a few days, defined friction as "a story that's not true" on a physics exam, and called Microsoft's customer support line when he could not turn off italics in Word.
Yurtz says he expects to major in physics and then go to "M.I.T. or one of those places" for a doctorate in "making kick-ass coasters."
Six Flags Executive's Discarded Tissue Examined for Hints About New SFGAdv Coaster
At a Jackson Township, New Jersey, Planning Commission meeting last night, Six Flags presented a proposal for a new B&M "flying coaster" to open next season at Six Flags Great Adventure, but provided few details. That wasn't good enough for Scott Hansen, a suburban New Jersey coaster enthusiast.
Hansen noticed that Six Flags's representative, Tom Limbacher, sneezed midway through his presentation and discarded his used tissue in a nearby wastebasket. Hansen waited in the back of the hearing room, trying to avoid attracting attention, for the crowd to clear out. Once there was nobody left, he picked through the wastebasket to find the tissue.
"This tissue is the best source of information since the Dippin' Dots guy!" exclaimed Hansen, examining the tissue under a magnifying glass late last night. "To the general public, it just looks like tissue and snot with a slight tinge of blood from an earlier nosebleed. But to me -- a seasoned coaster enthusiast and 'Steel Coaster' poster on CoasterForums.com -- to me, there's more...much more. This blood clearly came from being at great heights, and the presence of a cold in the first place suggests that he was in the presence of the great Walter Bolliger, who, as we all know, has been feeling a bit under the weather lately. Obviously, this is no routine B&M being built. Nosirree Bob, this will be a B&M like we've never seen, breaking height and speed records and, as you can tell by the consistency of the fluids, a revolutionary combination of flying and stand-up coaster designs."
Hansen was not dissuaded by viewing the blueprints or artist conception drawings displayed at the meeting. "That's all a coverup, man. They just don't want us to know the reality so they can blow the doors off the industry next summer. Mark my words."
Hansen then carefully placed the tissue in a plastic bag, using tweezers, and filed it next to the napkin from a Bob Evans Restaurant used once by Lawrence Bill, former wooden coaster designer for Custom Coasters International, and the discarded paper plate on which Ron Toomer of Arrow Dynamics once received a slice of pizza at Paramount Kings Island.
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Coaster Decaptitates Twenty-Four Passengers; IAAPA Blames Rider Error
A roller coaster running at the new "Old Oklahoma" Theme Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma, decapitated twenty-four passengers, its full capacity, on Monday. The coaster, called "The Head Remover," was considered a new breed of thrill ride, most notably due to its eight three-foot razor-sharp blades spinning rapidly approximately one foot above the trains -- or at roughly head level -- at its conclusion. The twenty-four dead were the first to ride the coaster after its opening after being assured by ride operators that the blades were "just for show" and that they would retract well before the train went under them.
Spokesmen for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, or IAAPA, blamed the deaths on rider error. "Upon examining the ride, it appears that any passenger could have easily avoided any injury by either extricating themselves from the restraints and leaping over the side or by merely doing the sensible thing and wearing plate mail armor on the ride. This clearly is purely rider misconduct and should not detract from the amusement park industry's excellent safety record."
Paramount Parks to Offer Free Lettuce for 2003
Recognizing the success that such parks as Holiday World and Lake Compounce have had offering free, unlimited soft drinks, Paramount has announced that all of its theme parks will offer guests free, unlimited lettuce for the full 2003 season.
"We'd heard about these independent parks giving away free soda, and we thought it was an interesting idea," said spokesman Brian Margolis. "But this is Paramount Parks, and you're not going to get something so lame as soda from us. We decided that the most exciting and extreme possibility for our giveaway would be the universal food, lettuce."
Like the parks giving away soda, the Paramount lettuce offer has some restrictions. Visitors can only fill one small salad bowl at a time and dressings are a quarter extra per bowl (fifty cents for Caesar dressing), with Baco-bits costing a dime.
If the promotion is as successful as expected, Margolis told ARN&R that it could be extended into the future and possibly include other green leafy vegetables.
Monday, September 09, 2002
Coaster Enthusiast Gets Date
Ian Morgan, a seventeen-year-old coaster enthusiast from suburban Cleveland, was reported by those close to the situation to have received assent from Ann Rakesply, another seventeen-year-old, to attend a high school dance with him. Remarkably, Rakesply is both a nonenthusiast and aware of Morgan's status as an enthusiast, and yet agreed to go out with him.
"It's pretty amazing," said Morgan's best friend, Jeremy Morris. "She knows he spends all of his money from his job at KFC to go to the various amusement parks around Ohio -- and he wears his homemade 'Millennium Force Rules!' t-shirt at least once a week -- and yet she's going out with him? Incredible."
Rakesply, who is active in the high school drama club and is fond of wearing capes, was nonplussed by the media attention. "Sure, I wish he was a bit more into the Renaissance Festivals instead of theme parks, but heck, there are huge roasted turkey legs available both places. And it's not like my social calendar is full. Still, you're right, the coaster thing is a little weird."
Word of Morgan's date spread through the enthusiast community with a rapidity approaching the reports -- later proved erroneous, or at least drastically overstated -- that a Pennsylvania-based enthusiast had engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman who was aware of his denim jacket covered with patches from amusement parks across the country.
By the way, in case you're really not too sharp, this is satire.
Our favorite review: "as a joke it [ARN&R] wasn't that funny. all of my family take parks very seriuslyand all thow we laffed after time we were apoled by the joke."
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